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Tina Turner Wished She'd Managed Health Issues: "Would Have Been Spared Suffering"

The iconic singer had spoken out about her high blood pressure and kidney failure.

The world was shattered with the news of Tina Turner's passing on May 24. Long hailed as the "Queen of Rock & Roll," her career gave us hits like "The Best" and "What's Love Got to Do With It," and inspired endless artists over the decades. The music legend was 83 at the time of her death, and while her cause of death has not yet been shared, her family said she had been battling a long illness at her home. Turner had spoken out about her health issues over the years, recently talking about the conditions she wished that she'd managed earlier. Read on for the message she hoped to pass along to others.

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Tina Turner died after battling a long illness.

Singer Tina Turner laughs at a photo shoot. In March 2019 Tina - Das Tina Turner Musical will celebrate its German premiere in the Operettenhaus on Hamburg's Reeperbahn
Christian Charisius/dpa/Alamy Live News

The Queen of Rock & Roll "died peacefully" on May 24, according to a statement from her family to Rolling Stone. The family said that Turner had been been suffering from a "long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland" up until the time of her death.

"With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model," they added.

The news was also shared on the singer's social media accounts.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow," a post on Turner's official Facebook page reads. "Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly."

Turner had been dealing with several health issues.

Blood pressure monitor and stethoscope

In the years leading up to her passing, Turner had been dealing with several different health issues. In her 2018 memoir My Love Story, she revealed that she had suffered a stroke in Oct. 2013, three months after her second marriage to Erwin Bach, Today reported.

"I woke up suddenly and in a panic," the singer wrote. "A lightning bolt struck my head and my right leg—at least that's how it felt—and I had a funny sensation in my mouth that made it difficult for me to call out to Erwin for help. I suspected it wasn't good, but it was worse than I ever imagined. I was having a stroke."

Per her memoir, Turner was also diagnosed with high blood pressure in 1978, though she didn't start taking medication to manage the condition until 1985. As a result, Turner discovered that she had developed kidney failure, and had to receive a kidney transplant in April 2017.

The music icon was also diagnosed with intestinal cancer in Jan. 2016.

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She had recently opened up about not managing some of these health problems.


Just two months before her death, Turner took to Instagram to talk about her health issues in honor of International World Kidney Day. In one of her final posts, she explained that she had put herself in "great danger" by dismissing the severity of her kidney failure.

"Today is International World Kidney Day. Why is it important? Because kidneys fail without pain," Turner wrote in the March 9 Instagram caption. "And that's why I'm telling you today: Show your kidneys love! They deserve it."

As Turner explained, her unmanaged high blood pressure was what actually led to her kidney failure.

"My kidneys are victims of my not realizing that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine," she wrote. "I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication. For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion."

She said she "would have been spared a lot of suffering" by doing so.

Doctor conducts ultrasound examination of patientv kidneys. Internal organs ultrasound concept. female's lower back diagnosis carried out with the use of an ultrasound

Turner went into more detail about her health journey in a post for the Show Your Kidneys Love website, which she linked in her Instagram post.

"If I had known how high blood pressure and kidney disease are connected, I would have been spared a lot of suffering," the singer said.

She explained in the blog post that she began experimenting with natural, homeopathic remedies after convincing herself that the prescriptions she was taking to control her hypertension were making her feel worse. But this ended up being a dangerous decision.

"I had not known that uncontrolled hypertension would worsen my renal disease and that I would kill my kidneys by giving up on controlling my blood pressure," Turner wrote. "I never would have replaced my medication by the homeopathic alternatives if I had had an idea how much was at stake for me. Thanks to my naivety I had ended up at the point where it was about life or death."

In fact, Turner said confusion over her medication caused her to ignore the signs of her failing kidney.

"Some of the symptoms that I blamed on the medication, like my fatigue, nausea or occasional irritability, were really signs of my kidney disease in its final stage," she wrote. "How could it occur to me to make treatment decisions all by myself? If I had had any idea about the risk I was taking I would never have taken any chance on alternative medicine. The doctors made it very clear that the consequences of my decision were irreversible. My kidney function had reached its all-time low."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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